Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Charlottesville and violence of aggression vs self-defense

As some of my readers know, I was born and raised in Charlottesville, VA. I moved away at age 21 (almost half a lifetime ago, wow...) I've followed the reports from last weekend with shock, correlating sites which are now major flashpoints to my naive childhood memories of these places. But I don't feel any more knowledgeable about current events there than anyone else who can read the news, and I wouldn't normally spend the time to write about current events anyway. But a relative still living in Charlottesville sent a group of us a vile piece by David Horowitz which I couldn't let pass without a reply. So I may as well post the reply here.

My relative commented on the piece:

Right on!
I am sick of the lawlessness condoned in our country.

I replied:

Dear [relative],

I'm really confused. From what I've read, the neo-Nazis and their supporters were posting copiously in advance of the gathering about their plans for violence, showed up armed and defended as if for rioting, and then carried out their violent threats to the point of murder. (And committed dozens of incidents of vandalism, harassment, and physical assaults, which would be shocking were they not overshadowed by the vehicular homicide.) Trump's statements implicitly condone this lawlessness, and the piece you sent is in support of doing so. Why do you say "Right on!"?

The piece also greatly misrepresents the facts:

No one believes the racists came to "defend a historic monument" (Lee's statue is not under threat; it's simply being moved from a place where it has no historical relevance except in its use to enforce institutional racism, to somewhere more appropriate/relevant.) (See also: National Review perspective.)

Trump's politics have been racist from the start. He's deliberately appealed to a white working class base who've been screwed over by the capitalist system (as you taught us, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer -- and this has only gotten more extreme over the decades.) White working class economic interests would be best served through unification with the working class of all backgrounds, but Trump (not the first politician, surely not the last) has successfully used this wedge issue to divert their energies away from economic inequities and against people of color as scapegoats. It's incredibly disingenuous to claim that "the anti-Trump left [is using] race to divide America."

Characterizing BLM and Antifa as "violent groups" is equally disingenuous. (As you know, corporate media is heavily biased towards maintaining the status quo, so independent research is required if you want to understand these groups.) Most crucially, there's a clear legal and moral difference between the violence of aggression and the violence of self-defense. Trump and Horowitz are deliberately conflating the two to obscure how deeply racism is embedded in our society, how we (whites, especially white males) benefit, and the struggle necessary to obtain social justice.

"Who started the fight is really immaterial." <--- Classic line of abusers.

Of course you're in an ideal situation to talk with people who were on the ground, so I highly recommend you do so if you want to understand what happened over the weekend. That would give you a much more accurate picture than the opinion of an author trying to capitalize on events to sell his political agenda, or any other distant observer such as myself.

If you can't take advantage of your opportunities to talk directly with locals who were there, you can also read r/Charlottesville for eyewitness accounts.



Unknown said...

Hey Scrub.
This is Corum from #amber and #tape_trade_central.

All i have to say to you is Right On!

August said...

I do hope you figure out this is untrue before the left does this to you.

Those men meant to have a day of speeches. They meant to have a peaceful rally. They went prepared for Antifa, but they weren't prepared for the state and local authorities to violate their rights (and the law) and collaborate with Antifa.

As we can tell from this event, they will just through acid on you, or pepper spray you, or beat you down- before you speak.

August said...

This is an article I remembered from the New Yorker:

Environmentalism's Racist History.

The accusation has already been made. Please think about how you can defend yourself and your loved ones.

Norris said...

Hello Corum-from-half-a-lifetime-ago! Good to hear from you, and thanks! I hope you're doing well; feel free to email me if you want to catch up more - or are you on IRC anywhere?

August, the neo-Nazis meant to espouse racism and fascism, and to intimidate people, especially people of color. Their purpose from the start was aggression, so the resulting violence isn't a surprise.

Yes, America's history is genocidal and racist, and the environmental movement has mostly been white, so of course (shamefully) it's perpetuated that history. (For a fascinating side trail, read a brief history of Germany's Wandervogel, Lebensreform, and the rise of the Nazis ― many parallels with the US counterculture.)

Deep Green Resistance explains how the fight for the environment and for non-humans is inextricably intertwined with the fight for social justice. Human supremacy, white supremacy, and male supremacy all originate in the perceived entitlement of one class to exploit another. They're all, at root, about power and abuse. To defend ourselves and our loved ones, we need to dismantle racism, patriarchy, and industrial civilization. We all owe big thanks to Antifa and BLM for working against the racism part.

Unknown said...

Corum here, i don't remember but efnet #scifi, you used to be a regular on that channel too? I think i followed you there from #amber but i'm not sure.
I'm still there.
Also my email is
I have your siblings as friends on facebook, if you are there.